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Field Notes – October 2018

Field Notes – October 2018

It’s October, when spooky decorations are everywhere you look. In keeping with the season, in this issue we’re talking about some of the scariest things in agriculture.

David Redhage starts us off with a tough question: Which is the more frightening – a deadly plague, or a new genetic engineering technique that could potentially result in the extinction of entire species?

The rest of this month’s newsletter focuses on another chilling topic: the misuse of synthetic pesticides.

Oftentimes, efforts to reduce pesticide use stem from a desire to protect non-target plants and animals. It’s important, though, to remember to protect the people who work on farms and ranches from pesticide exposure as well.

Neonics are some of the most widely used pesticides today, catching much of the blame for bees’ current plight. New research suggests that neonics not only poison bees, but are actually addictive to them – yet the chemicals are used far more than necessary.

One technique we’ve tried for reducing pesticide use on the Kerr Ranch is using goats instead of sprays to control brush.

Field Notes – October 2018 (PDF, 420 KB)
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